Company Name: James Griffiths Photography
Interview with: James Griffiths
Location / Coverage: Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Cornwall
How did your business start and who works at James Griffiths Photography?
James Griffiths Photography really grew in 2015 when my wife and I had our daughter, Erin. I wanted to build a business for the family, doing something I am passionate about, which would complement family life. I’m so pleased with how quickly things have developed.
My wife, Ria, is involved with admin and marketing for the business, and Erin, who is nearly three, usually has some opinions to share!
Had you always wanted to be a photographer?
I’ve always been a photography enthusiast, but I actually started my paid career in construction and worked for many years completing measured building surveys. I then diversified into selling and demonstrating high specification camera equipment. This was when I started to seriously consider photography as a profession, rather than a hobby.
Can you remember how old you were when you took your first picture? What was it of?
I remember taking pictures of our family dog, Duncan. I’m not sure exactly how old I was – probably about eight. Sadly Duncan couldn’t see very well so I don’t think he knew he was posing for a picture.
Which areas of the UK do you cover?
I mainly cover the South West. Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. I also have a base in Cornwall.
What do you feel sets James Griffiths Photography apart from other wedding photographers?
Most of my clients have said that they didn’t even notice me for most of the day. To me, although this might sound odd, that’s a successful day. Being in the background, capturing what’s going on without intruding, is what I aspire too.
How would you describe your photography style?
I have a natural style and a relaxed but professional approach. I like to tell a story with my pictures, capturing moments as they happen and blending in with the activity around me.
What packages do you offer and what are your rates?
I offer many packages to suite a range of budgets from £450 – £1,000. Each package differs with timings, the amount of images and extras. There are full details of each package on my website, alongside some very cool products to display your pictures.
What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing is being invited into someone’s wedding, finding yourself in the middle of a celebration every time you go to work. It’s great to be able to put the story together afterwards.
Do you have a specialist area of photography?
Weddings are my chosen specialism, but within that it’s a natural, journalistic style.
Who/what are your influences?
There are so many talented photojournalists who are inspiring in their telling of human stories. Currently I am enjoying the VSCO community. It showcases some really creative photography ideas.
Do you have a favourite picture that you have taken (if you can choose!)?
There are so many I love, but this one of Anita and George stands out in my mind – I haven’t photographed many chickens before! There was a great family story behind this and it’s really fun. It shows how important it is for a wedding to reflect the personalities of those within it.
What is your top tip for choosing a wedding photographer?
Find someone who you like and feel comfortable around, and look at their portfolio – that’s the important bit.
Random question… What was the last film you watched? Was it any good?
‘Bright’ with Will Smith. It was very good, alternative reality/fantasy, quite gritty and violent, with a social message about segregation in society.
What’s a typical wedding day like for you?
My morning involves packing equipment, checking (multiple times) that I have all my memory cards and batteries are all fully charged.
I arrive at the venue, usually about an hour and a half before, catching up with any event planners or venue coordinators first before mingling in with the arriving guests, nervous grooms and arriving brides. Depending on the package, I might have been with the bridal party in the morning.
If there are any special requirements for pictures I will make sure we get these before the opportunity passes. Otherwise I will be in and around the action, taking natural shots, capturing all those personal details that reflect on the feel of the day and the efforts gone into planning.
I usually take my break whilst everyone is enjoying some food, then I am lucky enough to hear and photograph the speeches, a part of the day I love as you never know what will be said!
At some point in the day I will, briefly, catch the couple alone and get a few natural shots of them together, making the most of the backdrop of the venue.
Then, depending on how long I am there, I will be ready for the evening reception. It’s another fun (and varied) part of the day, and I’ve seen some epic group dancing and father of the bride singing!